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International Studies in the Theory of Private Law
Revisiting the Contracts Scholarship of Stewart Macaulay
On the Empirical and the Lyrical
Jean Braucher, John Kidwell, William C Whitford    

This book contains the papers prepared for a conference held at the Wisconsin Law School in 2011 to honour the work of Stewart Macaulay, one of the most famous contracts scholars of his generation. Macaulay has been writing about contracts and contract law for over 50 years; the 1960s were particularly productive years for him, when he introduced many novel ideas into the scholarly world. Macaulay's foundational work for what is now called relational contract theory was published during this period. Macaulay is also known for his use of empirical research and interdisciplinary theories to illuminate our knowledge of contracting practices.

The papers in this volume reflect, in diverse ways, on the subsequent influence and the contemporary relevance of Macaulay's work. All the contributors are important contracts scholars in their own right: David Campbell and John Wightman from the UK, Brian Bix, Jay Feinman, Robert Gordon, Claire Hill, Charles Knapp, Ethan Leib, Deborah Post, Edward Rubin, Carol Sanger, Robert Scott, Gordon Smith, Josh Whitford (with Li-Wen Lin) and William Woodward from the USA. The volume also reproduces Macaulay's most cited paper, 'Non-Contractual Relations in Business', and excerpts from two other important papers of his, 'Private Legislation and the Duty to Read-Business Run by IBM Machine, the Law of Contracts and Credit Cards', and 'The Real and The Paper Deal: Empirical Pictures of Relationships, Complexity and the Urge for Transparent Simple Rules'.


Jean Braucher is Roger C Henderson Professor of Law at the University of Arizona.
John Kidwell was, until his death in 2012, Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
William C Whitford is Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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January 2013
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